New Delhi: Thrown out of office by the Supreme Court after exceeding his tenure as All India Football Federation (AIFF) president, Praful Patel on Friday accepted the top court’s order, saying it has brought a “finality to a long pending issue”.
Patel’s reign at the helm of AIFF affairs came to an unceremonious end after the Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a three-member Committee of Administrators (CoA) to run the day-to-day affairs of the national federation.
The SC named a panel headed by Justice (retd) AR Dave, with SY Qureshi, former Chief Election Commissioner, and Bhaskar Ganguly, former captain of the Indian football team, as members.
“I thank the Honourable Supreme Court for bringing finality to a long pending issue since 2017. I wish the CoA all the very best, and request them to fulfil their responsibilities of providing a new Constitution compliant with the National Sports Code,” Patel said in a statement.
“A speedy resolution, and a newly elected body will serve in the best interest of Indian football.”
He said the AIFF constitution was already broadly complying with the Sports Code, while keeping in mind AFC and FIFA statutes.
Patel also admitted that he was not eligible for re-election under the Sports Code.
“The term of the elected committee expired in December 2020, and we had in November 2020 suo moto approached the Honourable Supreme Court for an early resolution of the matter, and appropriate directions.
“The AIFF constitution broadly follows the sports code 2011 for age and tenure limits, and therefore I was in any way going to step down from office, and neither was I eligible for re-election.”